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For newbies: Just Heart the (#) Hashtag!

Looking back at the past year, when I consider my favorite source for leads for professional learning and growth, Twitter has clearly been my first alert system.  It’s the place I go to when I need to take the pulse of what’s going on in the intersection of worlds I belong to.

Judging from the response I get when I mention this fact in some circles and at some conferences, I know I am not going to convince everyone.  But you don’t have to be a complete convert to benefit from the conversation.

Way back in April, we started to gather together tweets relevant to school library practice and teacher librarians by creating the #tlchat hashtag.  Hashtags group the relevant and eliminate the noise.

The tlchat hashtag has gathered a following among a growing group of TL leaders across the world, including professors, practitioners, students, authors.  At this point, more than 120 folks actively using the tlchat hashtag.  That is, when their Twitter post is relevant to our profession, they include #tlchat somewhere in those 140 or fewer characters.

For those of you who are just getting your feet wet in Twitter, for those of you who are Twitter-reluctant or Twitter-adverse, all you have to really do to experience the power of the hashtag is to simply, occasionally do a Twitter Search for #tlchat.  Or, when you see our hashtag, or another # of interest in a Twitter stream, simply click on it to group other like tweets together.

You may also choose to subscribe to or visit our TLChat Daily, a little newsletter that aggregates our tagged tweets and related linked material.  (Regular Twitter users will likely prefer to set up a column for their favorite hashtags using a platform like TweetDeck.)

In 2011, we’re hoping to create more focused discussions using #tlchat.  Join us!

And, to discover other hashtags that may be of interest to you and your teachers and students, visit Cybraryman’s (Jerry Blumengarten) list of educational hashtags.

Here’s a basic hashtag explanation from Mike Wesely:

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. […] I read Twitter is Stupid. (until you realize) (excellent & informative), Joyce Valenza’s For newbies: Just Heart the (#) Hashtag! (also excellent & informative), and checked out Twitter’s hashtag #tlchat per […]

  2. […] they meant.  However, after watching the Mike Wesley video on Twitter Hashtags Explained in the For Newbies: Just Heart the (#) Hashtag article by Joyce Valenza I understand their use a bit […]

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